As the 2013/2014 budget was read Thursday, Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s) gathered in Kampala to clean house and initiate the first ever statistical data collection mechanism, to assess their performance and convince Government of their contribution to national development.
Meeting under the Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Associations (DENIVA), the organizations presented their pilot statistical abstracts which contained key information on how they operate and tried to justify their in national development.
During the forum that brought together Uganda Bureau of Statistics, different CSO’s, Government representatives and the Media, the CSO’s came under sharp criticism for soliciting donor funding in the name of helping Ugandans , but how the money was utilized could not be quantified.
Responding to these criticisms, Jane Nakintu, Chairperson DENIVA argued that part of the information gathered was to enable the CSO’s reach out to people at the grassroots.
At the same time, Nakintu argued hoped that with this new approach, the CSO will play a central role in informing national policy.
The CSO’s expect to use the findings as evidence to challenge government when it is not transparent and accountable. Grace Gulere Bulenzi Principal Statistical Coordinator at the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) informed that indeed, statistical data was central in explaining national instruments like the budget.
The CSO acknowledged that some of their member organizations were not organized and often avoided making returns to the national NGO board.
There are 10337 registered CSO’s in the country, of these 77% operated as Non Governmental Organizations, while the rest were either Faith Based Organizations (FBO’s), or Community Based Organizations (CBO’s).